By Rebecca Hitchon
Inclusivity has become something of a buzzword in recent years, from how we think about work environments to the fashion and beauty industries. Yet, within the beauty sector in particular, there is still little awareness about the range of communities that it is crucial to consider in product designs. There is also a lack of knowledge of the brands to support to make inclusivity the norm. That is where our guide comes in, to highlight some of the top inclusive beauty brands out there.
Inclusive makeup: more than just larger foundation ranges
At KeiSei, we’ve talked about how Fenty Beauty’s launch of 40 diverse foundation shades started an inclusive beauty movement. For the first time, people of all ethnicities could find a shade that suited their skin tone, raising the bar for the beauty industry’s inclusivity standards.
Since that moment in 2017, many companies have followed Fenty’s example. But the concerns of overlooked communities extend further than foundations.
Live Tinted is a brand and digital community helping underrepresented people find pride in their identities and cultures through beauty. After founder Deepica Mutyala went viral with a video showing her using red lipstick to cover dark undereye circles, the community was created. With their feedback, the brand created its range of vegan and cruelty-free huesticks. These treat the community’s main beauty worry, discolouration. (Dark circles are a common concern of those of South Asian descent like Mutyala.) The huesticks are perfect eye, cheek and lip colours too.
“Before all else, we want to harbour a community that feels like it’s been made for all of us. Here, no one is “too” anything, rather you are just enough.” – Live Tinted
Aside from addressing diverse skin tones, there are brands wanting to change other aspects of inclusivity within the beauty industry.
The charity Purple estimates that the spending power of disabled households is worth £274 billion in the UK alone. Yet, the beauty world does not cater to those with disabilities on a mainstream level. Luckily, there is hope with innovative brands like makeup brush company Kohl Kreatives. It launched its inclusive Flex Collection in 2018, tailored to the needs of those with a motor disability. The collection is made up of 5 brushes that stand on their own. Their heads bend all the way forwards and backwards and they have easy-to-grip handles.
Proceeds from Kohl Kreatives’ sales go towards the brand’s charity, Kohl Kares. The charity provides free international makeup workshops, primarily for individuals undergoing gender transitioning and chemotherapy. However, they also provide the workshops to people with conditions like alopecia and vitiligo and anyone with severe scarring or burns. Since the launch of the Flex Collection, the charity offers online personalised tutorials to people with motor disabilities.
“Our aim is to bring the basics back to beauty for men and women, so they can feel good about themselves on a daily basis. We teach them simple techniques to improve their self-esteem and help them reintegrate into society.” – Kohl Kares
A pioneering brand leading the way in terms of gender-free beauty is Jecca Blac. Founder Jessica Blacker’s makeup studio in Wales has established itself as a place for local trans women to learn about makeup. It was her clients that encouraged her to create a vegan and cruelty-free beauty brand that is truly inclusive to everyone. The brand’s first product was the Correct & Conceal Palette, the first ever concealer with a design focusing on beard shadow coverage.
Alongside tutorials on the brand’s website, purchases come with the opportunity to book a 10 minute video call with the brand. This is so you can learn how to best use your products. Similarly, free online assistance is at hand for picking the right shade or product for your needs.
“Jecca Blac’s mission is to be a brand that represents all beauty lovers: all expressions, genders, sexualities, abilities, pronouns, shapes and sizes.”
There are many more amazing brands that we could mention here, including those focused around afro-textured haircare. So, make sure to take a look at our pick of the top natural brands to nourish this hair type.
Inclusivity is something being implemented more in the industry and it is down to the love for brands like the ones above. If we support companies with values like theirs, the biggest beauty brands will work towards creating more inclusive products too.